health care

The CDC's dreadful 2016 opioid prescribing guideline caused untold damage, both to pain patients and opioid addicts. Six years later we have a revised document. Is it any better? Dr. Jeffrey Singer argues no.
Dr. Jeffrey Singer has written repeatedly about the "iron law of prohibition" and how it has contributed to soaring drug overdose rates, as generally safe medications are replaced by those that are far more dangerous. Not, it's not fentanyl. A class of illegal narcotics called nitazenes is now making the rounds, leaving devastation in its path.
Kentucky is one of the hardest hit states when it comes to drug overdose deaths. Dr. Jeff Singer discusses how the state can use kiosks that provide drug paraphernalia to address this problem as well as HIV/AIDS and fentanyl poisoning. The essence of harm reduction.
Apparently, the U.S. Department of Justice thinks the answer to the above question is “yes.” The agency presumes to know just how much pain medication, and what type and dose, each and every inhabitant of the country will require each year, an upside-down debacle by any measure.
Some experts have argued that America's expensive, inefficient health care system is to blame for our intense vaccine hesitancy. While this is a plausible explanation, it misses the key problem—the politicization of medicine, along with almost everything else in our culture.
Among the many lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic is how cumbersome one‐​size‐​fits‐​all regulations, administered by an impersonal bureaucracy, hamper a rapid and flexible response to an evolving public health emergency. The U.S. Navy Medical Corps provides us with a recent example.
Last week Arizona Governor Doug Ducey exercised his best judgment, aiming to expand the scope of the health care workforce during the COVID-19 public health emergency. And yet health care practitioners lack the same ability, based upon their knowledge and their patients’ circumstances, to use their best judgment when treating pain.
When coronavirus patients are admitted to all general hospitals, the risk of infecting other patients as well as hospital personnel is a serious concern. One way to address this problem is to consider isolating coronavirus patients to certain designated medical centers thus reducing the likelihood of exposure to other patients and their attending medical staff.
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently issued a national emergency order to pay doctors for services rendered to patients in states in which they are not licensed to practice, so long as they hold an equivalent license in another state. This would be a good move. Luckily, many states are already ahead of the federal government on implementing such measures.
The systematic erosion of continuity of care has financial and personal health costs. This is well-known, especially to health professionals, and it's supported by overwhelming evidence. And yet, it persists.
A new report on the plight of practicing physicians reflects a broken system. Nearly half of physicians plan to change careers, so maybe it's finally time to include them in the discussion on healthcare fixes.
How far will behavioral economics go to improve our health and decrease costs?